When it comes to getting your hair cut would you feel confident with the hairdresser who learnt their skills solely through classroom/online study with no actual practical element to their training?
Similarly a visit to your local gym, when choosing between two Personal Trainers to go with, would you choose the PT who had aspects of BOTH classroom/online study and practical elements or the PT who solely trained without any practical context working with real clients?
In both of these scenarios,the individual may have received an outstanding education in terms of the knowledge they had learned, be that in the classroom or online, but this is no substitute for hands on training.
Employers are now asking for learners to have undertake a programme which is long enough and robust enough to ensure that the knowledge learned is able to be put into a practical context so those skills are practiced and developed.
This is a scenario which has been discussed at length recently, within the industry and highlighted within a blog post featured on ukactive's blog written by Future Fit Training's Elaine Briggs.
Each year Future Fit Training produce Raising the Bar report in the quest to raise standards of training in our industry and to provide a voice for operators.
In the latest Raising the Bar report written by Future Fit Training, contributors agreed the importance of providing fitness professionals with the skills required to engage and communicate with the diverse range of clients they deal with. In addition there was an overwhelming consensus amongst employers that Personal Trainer courses should take no less than 6 months to complete, to ensure the students have an opportunity to learn and apply their knowledge in a practical context, so those skills are practiced and developed.
With so many strong views centred on the importance of ensuring the training provided to fitness professionals is of both high quality and thorough, CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) are releasing their new standards. These standards have been put in place to address the skills highlighted by employers as currently lacking, but also to provide a minimum assessment standard which ensures trainee fitness professionals need to meet to demonstrate their range of skills.
Elaine's full article can be found on the ukactive blog here.